Helmet Fitting 101

Let’s be real for a minute - helmets are an essential piece of equipment that frankly weren't commonly seen at ski resorts until recent history. Yet nowadays it’s become extraordinarily rare to see a skier or boarder sans helmet. What gives? Well, to put it mildly, these aren’t your grandparents helmets. Helmets are lighter, comfier, warmer, and more importantly, safer than they ever have been. Now’s the best time to pick up a new helmet, especially if your helmet is more than 3-5 years old!

To be blunt (no pun intended) for a moment; a properly fitting helmet can and will be the difference between a serious concussion and a potential TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury, often resulting in permanent brain damage), and a minor concussion when walking away from a severe crash. I speak from experience on this one. A few years ago on Whistler-Blackcomb I took a rather severe crash at 85km/hr, and while a few parts of my body were a bit beaten up, my Smith Vantage helmet protected me through the collision. While there are a few companies that make great helmets, I’ll always recommend Smith! However, here is a quick guide to ensure your helmet fits properly and safely, regardless of brand or style.

If you can, measure the circumference of the largest part of your head. Helmets often have a centimetre diameter range they can fit per size, which makes life very easy when it comes to selecting the correct helmet. If not, it’s no problem at all! When in Sundance, grab any helmet from the wall and try it on. If it has an adjustable dial in the helmet it will be near the base of the neck. Simply twist the dial clockwise until you can feel the helmet tighten on your head to the point of it resting, but not putting pressure on your head. From there, place a hand on each side of the helmet above your ears, and using your fingertips, roll the helmet forward and backwards on your head. The ideal situation here is that the helmet is adjusted perfectly and the skin on your forehead should move with the helmet without needing to apply pressure to the top of the helmet. This means that the helmet will move with your head in a collision rather than sliding off (in cases where the helmet is too small and sitting high on the head), and will prevent your head from rattling around in the helmet itself as would happen if the helmet is too big.

It’s also worth bringing your goggles into Sundance when sizing up a new helmet! Some goggles may change the fit of a helmet entirely, thus comprising all the work you’ve put into selecting the helmet that fits your head perfectly! A goggle that perfectly fits a helmet will also improve that goggle’s anti-fog ability, which is never a bad thing when working up a sweat while skiing.

If you have any questions concerning helmet fitting, or which helmets may be best for you and your loved ones, don’t hesitate to come into Sundance Ski and Snowboard, and one of our experts would be more than happy to help!

More from the Sundance Blog